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July 20, 2014

Taming Frankenstein

As I progressed towards getting children proficient with both positive and negative numbers the 'target' game got tuned further. I allowed students to put the starting number and guessing the number needed to get to target and as part of meta-cognition test I asked how many children felt they were proficient with integer arithmetic 6 children stood up immediately. Most others were able to do 'sums' on integers, but the idea of subtracting the starting point from a target worked ok in their head with questions like 5 going to 10, -11 going to 7, -17 going to -35 got messy.

With a few commands we transformed getting a user number (which some children were sticking to 'simple' numbers) to a random one and putting in a count for correct numbers. The twist was that the count was zeroed out if you got one wrong. I asked children to show their proficiency by getting to 10. Time not being an issue. Every 5 minutes or so the room will have an aaagghh, oh no as children made progress just to be shot down before they could get to 10. I decided not to tell the children about Frankenstein, but they felt that they had created the game and should be able to beat it. Arc was able to beat her game and was quite pleased with herself. Lets see if the other kids get the same high tomorrow.

Teacher Note:
I've made it a little simpler with +1 for a correct answer and -1 for an incorrect one. A list tracks all the problems where the child was confused so you can look at it in detail once they are done.

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